Josie’s Thorn by Lisa Vandiver

A freak accident and death forces Josephina to move back to Utah to settle her family’s estate. But once there, she is faced with more than just having to save the family business. She also has to face her past and learn to trust the man who once broke her heart in order to save the family business.

The book is engrossing. With believable characters, a few twists and turns, I found myself glued to my sofa when I had a thousand other things to do. I hated to put it down before I finished it.

I recommend it to anyone who loves romance!

WBS 2015 3rd place Winner

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Are you looking for that perfect gift? How about a paranormal romance – 3rd place at WBS? “Strong plot, solid and riveting…” ~Alistair Cross – Judge~.
http://www.amazon.com/She-Never-Got-Say-Goodbye-ebook/dp/B00IK671JO/
 
When Olivia traded her promising career for a more domestic lifestyle as a wife and mother, she expected many things but never to see ghosts, much less be one. Then again, she never expected to be murdered or to have to point the finger at her husband for the crime. Suspenseful, romantic and awash in the afterlife thrill.

Resilience

I killed one of my characters in Resilience. Here is a little unedited teaser.

 

RESILIENCE – coming soon.

Johanna squinted against the light. Shit. She had forgotten to close her blinds again and the morning sun flooded her small bedroom. She hated this place. Her bedroom in her parents’ basement was much better. But since Louis had moved the children to another school without her consent, instead of fighting with him and placing the kids in the middle of their disagreements, she chose to move closer to their new school.
The banging on the door restarted, adding to her annoyance. Johanna rolled over and glanced at the electronic clock on her nightstand. 6:01 a.m. Who the hell is up at this hour? She hated mornings and she hated people. She hated people who could do mornings.
Rolling out of bed she mumbled some swearwords directed at whomever stood on the other side of her door. “This better be important,” she groaned as another pound on the door seemed to shake the wall.
“I’m coming! No need to break the damn door,” she shouted while walking the short distance to the door, still in her pajama.
She opened the door and her eyes landed on a fist ready to knock again. The fist belonged to a bulky man whom Johanna recognized instantly. Ted Lewinsky, Louis’ partner. Was Louis okay? For a moment she wondered if she asked aloud.
“Johanna White?” The tone sounded practiced. Distant. Surely he knew who she was so why was he asking her name as if he had never seen her before.
“Yes, Ted, that’s me,” she said letting a bit of sarcasm flow in her tone.
When she and Louis were together, Ted had joined her and Louis for dinner several times. After she and Louis separated, Ted acted polite but cold toward Johanna. As if to make it clear to her that he was on Louis’ side. She wasn’t shocked. Everyone was on Louis’ side because everyone knew Louis by the façade he presented to the world. But now, for Ted to pretend he didn’t know her, that was just rude and she opened her mouth to give him a piece of her mind.
Ted pulled one side of his jacket to show his badge. “Detective Ted Lewinsky. Ma’am, you are under arrest for—”
The rest of his words were lost under Johanna’s squeal. “I know who you are.” Then as if just registering Ted’s words, Johanna lowered her voice. “What did you say?”
“Put your hands behind your back. You’re under arrest for the murder of Louis White. You have the right to remain…”
Ted’s words trailed off and morphed into Johanna’s muddled thoughts. Louis was murdered? How? When? A day ago his lawyer told the court that he had gone undercover. Yeah, that was always dangerous but why would they blame her?
***
“For the thousand time,” Johanna shouted, “I had nothing to do with Louis’ death. How many times can I tell you the same thing?”
Ted’s eyes remained on her face. “Until you actually tell me the truth.”
“Are you crazy or deaf? I didn’t kill Louis?”
“Well, some people seem to disagree.”
Johanna blinked in surprise at his remarks. So in his eyes she was guilty as charged and he was the judge, jury, and executioner. Why the hell look for the real killer when he had made an arrest and now he could go back to his waiting box of doughnuts. “Oh, let me guess. Karol.”
Ted remained unyielding. “Are you going to deny that you threatened to kill Louis? Because there are a few witnesses who will testify that you did.”
She had threatened Louis. In a public place. But that was because she was mad at him for letting Aidan suffer. She didn’t really mean it. Dammit! She and her big mouth. How was she going to get out of this? Motive.
“What motive would I have to kill Louis?” she blurted.
Ted shook his head. “Fighting for custody for four long years, I think that’s plenty of motive there; don’t you think?”
Johanna gritted her teeth. This didn’t look good. The more she looked at it, the more she realized how deep in trouble she was.
“Louis was the one dragging me to court.”
“I know. He thought you’re a pretty unstable parent.”
Okay, that’s enough. Johanna rose and slammed a fist on the table separating her from Ted. “Louis lied!” she screamed. “The judge is just beginning to see through his lies.”
“That must have angered you.”
She slowly sat back in her seat and lowered her voice. “Frustration. That’s what I felt when he and I crossed paths. He has killed every other feeling I had toward him. In the beginning I was angry with him, but I slowly realized that I had no control over what he does.”
Ted nodded. “Control…”
Johanna raised her eyes and studied him for a moment. This man was not here to help her. He was here to bury her. What was she doing sharing her feelings with him. “You’re not even going to look for another suspect, are you?”
He raised an eyebrow. “I already have a suspect.”
She nodded. “I think we’re done her. I want my lawyer now,” she said matter-of-factly.
Ted picked up the folder in front of him and slammed it on the table. “Fine. Have it your way,” he said then he walked away.
“Ted…” Johanna called after him. He stopped but didn’t turned around. “If I were you, I’d investigate this with an open mind. I didn’t do this, Ted.” Her voice sounded somewhere between wishing and begging.
Ted nodded once but didn’t reply and walked out of the room.

Good News and Better News

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Yesterday I received a snail-mail letter from a publisher. Of course, as usual, I had a thousand other things to do and I forgot about it. However, I opened it today, and guess what? They will publish one of my short stories in a collection of short stories written by Canadians titled “Wherever We Roam”. Oh, and one more thing, the book will become part of the national collection at Library and Archives Canada for preservation in Canada’s documentary history. Naturally, now is happy-dancing round the house… and maybe a glass of champagne later tonight. Yey to me!

Boundaries – How my books were born

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Initially, Boundaries was a romantic Sci-Fi novelette (only about 17000 words,) titled Crossing Boundaries. I wrote it and forgot about it. It sat in my drawer for about a year, but Gabriela, Landon, and Jack kept nagging, telling me that the story wasn’t finished.

Needless to say that the trio disturbed me from watching funny cat videos and interacting with my Facebook friends. But I finally gave into their demands and once I started writing it, the words just kept flowing. I felt as if I was in the scenes with my characters.

I finished writing it in 2014. Also in 2014, Boundaries was a finalist at World’s Best Story.

I immediately fell in love with Landon. He is definitely my favorite character in the book. The perfect gentleman. The man every woman dreams of.

Gabriela is a little “undecided”, but she really cracked me up more than once. I love her sense of humor and her feistiness.

Bianca is Gabriela’s best friend and she is funny and terribly sarcastic. While she is a secondary character, she complements well the two main characters – Gabriela and Landon.

Jack comes in the picture only vaguely in the beginning, but he sure creates a lot of problems for everyone. He turns out to be one twist in the story that no one expects.

I had a lot of fun writing it, and found myself laughing at their jokes and almost try to comfort them when they were sad or frustrated.

Visit my author page at http://www.amazon.com/Ica-Iova/e/B00EN8ZH2G/ for this book as well as my other books.

Unsung Victims – How my books were born

When I tell people that I am an author they immediately get curious; about the process of writing a book, about where I get my ideas, etc. To write a book it takes more than a pen, a bunch of papers, and some imagination. A lot more. It takes hours of research, missed lunches and dinners, countless hours of back-breaking writing, re-writing, editing, pots of coffee, bottles of Tylenol for back pain, and a lot more.

To help you understand what I’m talking about, I created a new category called *How my books were born* where I will share with you a short history about the making of each one of my books.

I will start with Unsung Victims.

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Unsung Victims is book one in the Resiliency Series. It was not an easy book to write. Beside the facts mentioned above, when I wrote Unsung Victims, I went through every emotion with my characters. I cried with them and laughed with them as we traveled from a beautiful beginning, true romance really, to open hostility. The book has a sentimental value to me because it is based on the story of someone near and dear to my heart.

Divorce happens every day. We all know someone who is divorced or divorcing. We might have seen someone rise from the ashes of their divorce and forge ahead. We might have seen others who never get the strength to move on and start a better life. But what most people don’t think about is that the pain and discomfort of divorce is only known to those who go through it. In Unsung Victims art imitates life. Even under the best of circumstances, while going through a divorce people are compelled to act in a way they wouldn’t normally act under any other circumstances.

Though no longer the ugly word it once was, divorce must be one of the hardest decisions someone has to make. Your entire world crumbles with that single word. Everything comforting and stable and reliable, crumbles with that single word, and the decision to part ways is always painful because it affects not only the couple but those around its epicenter – children, parents, in-laws, friends and acquaintances.

(A friend of mine once said, “If you’re widowed you get all the sympathy going, death benefits and all the family assets. Divorced, and you’re suddenly perceived as a danger to other people’s spouses, lose most of everything you’ve worked for, and have to sink or swim on your own.”)

Here is another fact that few people, who haven’t been affected by divorce, consider. There is no justice, no sense of equality, in Family Court. One spouse has the house, the other one doesn’t. One parent has the kids, the other one doesn’t – even in a fifty/fifty custody – when the children are with the mother, they don’t have a father; when they are with the father, they don’t have a mother.

In Unsung Victims, both, Johanna and Louis make mistakes. Johanna is railroaded by Louis’ anger and by the system, her children are put in jeopardy, and they might not love her with the same innocence as before the divorce.  I like happy endings, but in real life one is never guaranteed.

Book 2, Resilience, is expected to be released before the end of this year.